The years go by and none of them are quite the same….
Although 2010 has a “family resemblance” to 2009.
There was a complex start to the vine-growing season, with fairly high rainfall, that was difficult to manage up until mid-June.
July, August and September were then very dry (with an average of 20 mm of rain) with excellent daytime temperatures and cool nights, which is ideal for a slow but complete ripening of the grapes.
Nevertheless, this dry period had a negative impact on the berry size, and having recorded some flower abortion and uneven grape size, we were expecting a low yield.
The harvests at L’Evangile took place from 21 September to 12 October. As a result of the different soil types, we harvest each plot separately in order to ensure that the grapes are picked when they are fully ripe.
On 4 October, a few showers refreshed the vineyards and welcomed Lafite and Duhart’s 350 pickers: a rainy start, which was followed by 10 days of beautiful sunshine.
In Sauternes, the selective picking began in mid-September, in a heterogeneous manner, with a slow development of botrytis. In mid-October, the growth of the fungus was checked by very cool temperatures, necessitating delicate, highly selective harvests. Then everything accelerated in the last week of October and a fine spirit of mutual support developed as some of the team from Lafite and Duhart came, secateurs in hand, to learn and the special picking techniques of Sauternes.
The fermentations required close attention because the sugar levels were somewhat high; the long malolactic fermentations of the red wines will oblige us to blend the wines later than usual.
Charles Chevallier, Technical Director for Bordeaux Châteaus
• Chateau Rieussec: 15 September to 4 November with 5 selective pickings
• Chateau L’Evangile: Merlot: 21 September to 12 October – Cabernet Franc: 12 October
• Chateau Duhart-Milon: Merlot: 24 September to 4 October – Cabernet Sauvignon: 1 to 12 October
• Chateau Lafite Rothschild: Merlot: 24 September to 4 October – Cabernet Sauvignon: 4 to 13 October – Cabernet Franc: 8 and 9 October – Petit Verdot: 13 October